Oh Powerful Tongue!
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.
Matthew 12:37 (KJV)
37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Even more concerning is the famous chapter in the Bible, James 3, which speaks of how near impossible it is to tame the tongue. The verse that stands out to me though… is verse 6, where it says that the tongue has the power to “set on fire the course of nature”. The tongue can actually alter the course of our lives. Death and life are really in the power of the tongue!
I came across this little article, which though fictional, really demonstrates the power of this tongue of ours. If we can tame our unruly tongues, we may actually save our own lives.
A Story about the Power of the Tongue
Regarding the power of the tongue, the story is told of a king whose son was very sick. The doctors told the king that only the milk from a lioness would save the prince, but how could such be had? A man approached the king and told him that if the king gave him ten goats, he would get the desired milk. The king agreed and promised the man great honor and riches if he succeeded. Thereafter, each day the man took one goat into the lion’s den and offered it to them for food. Day by day passed, and the lions began to trust the man’s presence. By the tenth day, the lions had gained enough trust in him enough to allow him to milk the lionesses.
Later that night the man had a strange dream: An argument broke out as to which of his bodily organs was responsible for this great success. First the hands claimed credit, then the eyes, and so on. Finally, the tongue said, “I caused this, for I asked the king for ten goats.” The other body parts scorned the tongue’s suggestion, but it replied, “You shall soon learn that everything depends on me.”
The following day, among great pomp and ceremony, the man presented the milk to the king. When he approached the throne, however the words tumbling from the man’s tongue were, “I present to you, O Majesty, the dog’s milk which you requested!” Infuriated, the king sentenced the man to die and threw him into prison. That night he dreamed yet again and the tongue said to the man’s organs, “You see now that I am greater then the rest of you? Because of me you shall all be punished.” The other organs all admitted that indeed the tongue was the greatest and appointed it their leader. “Just save us from death!” they implored.
The next day, as the man was being lead out to be hanged, he insisted that he could indeed cure the king’s son. When he explained to the king that he had misspoken, the king tested the milk and gave it to his son, who then immediately recovered. The man was spared and was made a great noble (adapted from Midrash Shochar Tov).